Frequently asked questions

Here we've put together a selection of frequently asked questions. If you don't find your answer below, get in touch!


Employer queries

What is the apprenticeship levy?

If you’re an employer with a payroll bill over £3 million each year you’ll be paying an apprenticeship levy of 0.5% via the HMRC PAYE. This levy can only be spent on apprenticeship training and assessment for those that work at least 50% of the time in England, but the payroll bill covers all staff working across the UK, including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Can I access training if I don’t pay the apprenticeship levy?

If you have an annual payroll bill of less than £3 million a year, you won’t have to pay the apprenticeship levy. Instead, the government will share the cost of apprenticeship training with you.

You’ll need to contribute 5% towards the cost of the apprenticeship programme with the remaining 95% paid by the government. This is called ‘co-investment’.

You could be eligible for extra funding depending on both you and your apprentice’s circumstances.

How do I choose the right apprenticeship provider?

With well over 2,000 different apprenticeship providers delivering training, selecting the right provider can often seem a complex and daunting challenge. However, selecting the right provider can be summarised into five simple but critical considerations that you should think about before committing to working with a provider:

  1. A strong track record – have a look at the provider and their history of delivery. Do they offer the quality of service you’d expect to see? Whether this an Ofsted rating, success rates of past performance or even experience of delivery
  2. Reputation – do learner and employer satisfaction rates indicate a strong commitment to success? Does the provider have a range of case studies or employer testimonials that shows their work? Is the provider a market leader with awards and nominations for their delivery?
  3. The geographical coverage to match your needs – Can the provider deliver the programmes you want and where you want?
  4. Cultural alignment – does the provider that you’re interested in working with match your own organisational culture? Perhaps share the same type of values and beliefs?
  5. Data management – can the provider robustly monitor and provide accurate reports of learner progress?
Does the apprenticeship levy have to be used for new recruits and apprentices?

No, you can use the funds in your apprenticeship service account to pay for the development and training of any apprentice. You can therefore offer apprenticeship training for anyone, whether a new recruit or an existing member of your workforce.

How much does an apprenticeship cost?

Each individual apprenticeship programme is allocated to one of 30 different funding bands which are overseen and regularly reviewed by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. Each funding band ranges from £1,500 to £27,000.  Therefore the cost of the apprenticeship depends on the programme that has been selected. Further details about the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education can be found through here:


Learner queries

How do I pay for apprenticeship training?

It is the employer’s responsibility to fund apprenticeships. This can either be done through a company’s apprenticeship levy or through co-investment, which is where the employer contributes 5% of the total cost of the apprenticeship, with the government paying for remaining 95%

Am I too old to become an apprentice?

As long as you are over the age of 16 and not in full-time education, you can undertake an apprenticeship. Many of our learners find apprenticeships are a great way to make a career move – at any age!

Which is better traineeship or apprenticeship?

There’s lots of differences between traineeships and apprenticeships. One of the biggest differences is the pay and the duration. Traineeships are not paid, usually completed in weeks, and offer no guarantee of a job once completed. Apprenticeships are paid, usually completed in years, and are designed to work alongside employment. We can discuss which option suits your goals and ambitions.

Can you help find me an apprenticeship?

Realise have a dedicated recruitment team who regularly post new vacancies. To view our range of vacancies visit, Don’t forget to check back often as we post new roles daily. If we don’t have anything in your area but we know an employer based near you that might be a great match, we can also share your CV with them if you give us permission to do so.